Tips For Being An Awesome Swim Parent
Tips For Being An Awesome Swim Parent
Whether you're a swim mom or a swim dad, you're probably very proud your child has chosen swimming as their sport of choice. You most likely want to be able to show that you support them no matter what. However, swimming is an involved sport, and when you have other commitments such as pets, other children and work, being a good swim parent can mean your life becomes even busier.
The swim parent lifestyle includes early morning practices, weekend swim meets, fees, event chaperoning and carpooling, among other responsibilities. In return for their own commitment, most parents want to get the best from their swimmers without pushing them too hard. Follow this advice for parents of competitive swimmers to know how to best support your child's goals!
10 Tips for Swim Parents
This swim parent advice could help you connect better with your children and help them love the sport that they are in.
1. Encourage Accountability
Accountability means your child takes ownership of their responsibilities, which means keeping track of their own gear, meets and practice schedule. Younger children may not be able to do all this independently, but encouraging them to follow through on their commitments can help build accountability.
You can also encourage them to set personal goals and evaluate and track their own workouts to instill a sense of control regarding their own swimming style and progress.
2. Take the Good Days With the Bad
As a parent, you have to control your own emotions and feelings when your child is playing any sport. Even if you swam and have a deep connection to the sport, recognize that your child is different from you. They may swim to have fun rather than to compete with others.
Through their good days and bad, you should show the same unwavering support and encouragement — showing your disappointment to your child on their bad days can make them feel even worse. You also cannot fall into the trap of thinking your child’s performance is a reflection of you. As long as you offer plenty of support and encouragement, you will be an awesome swim parent.
3. Set the Standard for Good Sportsmanship
How you react to your child's performance sets the stage and trains them for how they should react. Good sportsmanship is paramount in sports, and showing respect for other players, coaches and officials is essential. Fighting the coach's or official's decisions does not set a good example. Instead, you should set an example of sportsmanship and self-control for your child to follow, even if you are disappointed or upset.
4. Moderate Your Expectations
Swim parents are amazing at sacrifice — between fundraisers, driving, swim meets, hotel rooms and various travel costs, you put so much time and energy into helping your child. Some parents might see this as an investment that they should be getting a return on, whether through college scholarships or more professional sponsorships. However, your child's goals should guide your expectations.
Swimming and other sports should not be measured in dimes and dollars. Rather, expect your return on investment to be the lessons of perseverance, accountability and the memories your child gained along their journey.
5. Address Issues Privately and Directly
When issues arise with another swimmer, coach or parent it's important to take care of these issues privately and directly to avoid rumors and gossip. It's best to assume the best intentions from everyone and approach conflict with an understanding attitude. If you're upset as a parent, take some space to sort through your emotions before confronting anyone.
It's in your kid's best interest to keep them out of any drama — which includes discussing your issues with other swimmers or parents around them. If you do need to sort out an issue, set a meeting outside of swim time to get everything sorted out.
6. Let Your Swimmer Have Other Hobbies
Kids are kids and they will have more than one interest or hobby. It is important that their entire lives are not dedicated to swimming, especially at a young age. Kids still need time for friends, other interests, family and school. Constantly having to relive meets and practices outside of the pool can become mentally exhausting. Let your kids be kids and allow them space to explore multiple interests and passions.
7. Be a Good Role Model
Be there to teach your kids about good sportsmanship. Winning is not everything and losing is not the end of the world. Teach them to support their teammates no matter the circumstances and tell them your goals for them and help them set their own. Avoid setting unrealistic expectations — instead, set attainable goals so that your child does not get overwhelmed or discouraged. Accomplishing a goal can provide a major sense of self-gratification and pride.
8. Let Them Make Decisions
Going along with accountability, allow your child to make some of their own decisions regarding their sports. You can help them by laying out their choices and explaining the consequences, but assure them the decision is theirs. For example, allow them to decide if and when they want to practice outside of mandatory hours. Giving children this ability to make their own decisions teaches them better decision-making skills and affords them a sense of responsibility.
9. Let the Coaches Do the Coaching
One issue that a lot of sports teams face is a couple of parents who jump in on the coaching. This can be distracting and counter-productive if the children have more than one person telling them what to do. Many of these parents have good intentions, but generally, the coach knows best. Everyone who attends a meet must know their roles to keep everything flowing smoothly.
10. Be There for Them
The most essential, and perhaps the most simple, tip to be a good swim parent is to just be there. More than anything, your child wants to see you in the stands. They want to know that you are there for them for the rough meets and the amazing meets. They want to hear you cheering from the bleachers and calling their name. Be their shoulder to cry on, give them words of encouragement when they lose and toss them on your shoulder when they win.
Get Your Swim Kid the Best Swim Gear
Being a swim parent is not an easy task. There are a lot of sacrifices, including hard work, financial investment and time commitments, but the reward of seeing your child do something they love overpowers all of that.
More than anything, your child wants your support and to know that you are proud of them. Part of supporting your child is ensuring they have everything they need to succeed. Check out The Lifeguard Store for your one-stop shop to get all the suits and gear your child will need for swimming.
Tech Suits Guide
Tech Suits Guide
If you've been a part of the competitive swimming community for any amount of time, you've most likely heard of technical suits. As swimwear technology advances, it's essential to stay up to date with the latest racing suit trends if you want to realize your full potential in the pool. But what exactly is a tech suit, and how much do tech suits help?
This complete guide will answer your questions, such as what the best tech suit is for you is and how long tech suits last. You'll also learn about the benefits of a tech suit and what to think about when choosing one, such as sizing, style, brand, restrictions and maintenance practices.
What Is a Swimming Tech Suit?
A technical suit is a special type of high-technology bathing suit specifically designed for swim competitions to optimize athletic performance. Tech suits for males usually look similar to traditional swim jammers but are tighter around the thighs to compress the leg muscles more. Women's tech suits are created to compress the muscles by wrapping around the shoulders in addition to the legs and core to provide full-body compression.
Because they are developed for high-intensity racing, tech suits are not intended for wearing to everyday practice sessions.
Benefits of Tech Suits
While there are numerous advantages to wearing a tech suit for competitions, here are the top three:
Tech suits were developed to improve athletes' blood flow while swimming by compressing their muscles. Compression enables the body's systems to flush out lactic acid and metabolic waste more quickly during hard efforts, resulting in improved performance.
Along with muscle compression, a tightly fitted tech suit makes your body more streamlined, which means you can move faster through the water. A tech suit can also help you maintain better body alignment, assisting your breathing and reducing overall fatigue. All of these factors can help increase your speed on race day.
Tech suits are made from a hydrophobic material that repels water. Because the suit does not absorb water as you swim, you experience less drag and less water weight slowing you down.
Tech suits also have few seams. The seams they do have are carefully constructed to direct the flow of the water and make the suit function as close to a second layer of skin as possible.
3. Psychological Edge
Sports are largely mental games, and competitive swimming is no different. When you believe you are strong and smooth in the water, you perform at your best. A tech suit can give you the psychological upper hand by increasing your confidence and making you feel faster.
By making you feel more hydrodynamic and prepared before a big meet, a tech suit can give you the edge you need to outswim your opponents. Choose a tech suit in a unique color or style that expresses your personality to feel as confident as possible when you dive into the water.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Tech Suit
If you want to start taking advantage of all the benefits a tech suit has to offer, it's time to think about what kind of tech suit is right for you. Choosing a tech suit is a big decision, and there are a few key factors to consider when finding the right tech suit for you. Include these three steps in your tech suit decision-making process:
1. Focus on the Fit
When shopping for a new suit, swimmers have a tendency to overly rely on their typical swimsuit size. This approach may work for regular practice suits, but every technical racing suit is going to be sized a bit differently. Instead, prioritize how the suit feels over the actual number on the tag. As swimming suit technology rapidly evolves, the size and fit of different tech suits also changes, so pay more attention to a suit's structure, comfort and materials than the size.
Your comfort and range of motion in the suit is the most important component of finding the right tech suit. If the suit feels too tight in the legs or shoulders, you could be in pain throughout your race. Look for the suit that will help you swim as fast as possible rather than the most brightly colored or in-fashion suit.
2. Evaluate Brand and Style
Before choosing a tech suit, research the latest brands and styles to determine which type of tech suit is best for your swimming techniques and races. Tech suits can be made from a variety of materials that each behave differently in the water. Some fabrics allow for more stretch and flexibility while others concentrate on compression, so think about the way you move and what kind of suit would complement your movements best.
For instance, if your favorite stroke is breaststroke, look for a suit that has seams around the leg muscles that will allow for more stretch. Similarly, if you're a long-distance swimmer, don't get a suit that's designed for short sprints. There are a lot of different brands and styles of tech suits on the market, so make sure you're aware of all your options before deciding which suit to buy.
3. Think About Money Matters
High-quality tech suits are not cheap, but they are a worthwhile investment in your training and swimming success. Along with the hard work you put in at practice, a tech suit is the final step for getting you prepared to race at the highest level possible. Doing the research required to find the best brand and fit for you will make purchasing a technical suit pay off in the long run.
Although it is important to not compromise on quality when it comes to buying your tech suit, keep in mind that the most expensive tech suit is not necessarily the best. Sometimes an older model or less expensive brand can be just as effective as the latest tech suit release. Even if you are on a tighter budget, you can still find a tech suit that will fit your needs.
How to Know Your Tech Suit Size
While fit is the most important part of purchasing a tech suit, knowing your size can be a helpful starting point. The most reliable strategy for finding your ideal tech suit fit is to choose a brand first and check out that brand's specific sizing guidelines.
After finding your size, be sure to try the suit on and get adjusted to the feel of its compression. Regardless of what the sizing chart says, try on a different size if the suit feels too tight or too loose.
Styles of Tech Suits for Men and Women
There are tech suit style variations for both men and women. Some of the differences come down to personal preference while other differences have more to do with fit and form.
Tech Suit Styles for Men
The main difference when it comes to technical suits for men is length. Most competitive male swimmers opt to wear a jammer-style tech suit, but there are shorter brief-style tech suits available. While shorter men's tech suits may be quicker to put on, longer tech suits provide more compression and water-repellence. The compression effects of a jammer can make men feel like they have a slimmer profile in the water, which can make them more hydrodynamic and faster.
Another main difference in men's tech suits is the waistline. Regular waist tech suits stop just below the top of the hips, whereas high waist tech suits cover all the way up over the hip bone. While a high waist tech suit may provide a bit more core support than a regular waist tech suit, choosing between the two mostly comes down to fit and comfort.
Tech Suit Styles for Women
Women's tech suit styles can vary in leg length as well as back structure. Tech suits for women come in the traditional, high-cut leg style or neck-to-knee coverage. A neck-to-knee tech suit is a popular choice among female swimmers because they provide a larger surface area of water-repelling material and compression technology. However, some female swimmers prefer traditional-style tech suits because they can feel less restrictive and offer a greater range of leg motion.
Women's also come in open back or closed-back styles. Open back tech suits look more like traditional swimming suits, leaving the back uncovered and exposed, whereas closed back tech suits cover the lower portion of the back with material, leaving only the shoulders exposed. Some female swimmers feel more comfortable in the familiar open back swimsuit style, but some favor the added compression that comes with a closed back tech suit.
Regardless of its style of back, a women's tech suit will have flat, wide straps to give the wearer sufficient support and control. Some tech suit straps will have elastic in them to add a bit of flexibility. Make sure you choose a tech suit with straps that are tight enough to keep the suit fitting properly, but not so tight that your movement feels constrained.
Popular Tech Suit Brands
When searching for the best tech suits, here are a few of the most popular brands to consider:
- Speedo: As one of the most famous swimwear brands in the world, Speedo upholds its reputation by producing quality tech suits. Speedo drew the inspiration for its tech suit designs by analyzing how shark skin behaves in the water to reduce drag. With maximum compression and increased flexibility, Speedo tech suits can enhance swimmers' speed, power and comfort.
- FINIS: To make their tech suits the best they can be, FINIS works alongside Olympic swimmers to test and evaluate the performance of its suits. FINIS takes the fit of its tech suits seriously and strives to make its suits lightweight enough to glide through the water while being durable enough to withstand many races. FINIS technical suits each include a single layer of panels on the inner thighs to give swimmers a greater range of motion and additional speed.
- TYR: TYR has always been a swimwear staple, and its tech suits are some of the most advanced on the market. TYR tech suits use hydrophobic material, so they repel water rather than absorb it. This ability to repel water, along with an anatomically-engineered fit and features like turbo woven fabric, help to decrease drag and increase your speed. Thanks to its innovative design, a TYR tech suit maximizes every stroke to get you to the finish line as fast as possible.
- Arena: As the leading brand choice for Olympic swimmers, Arena is a trusted swimwear provider. The tech suit material used by Arena provides enhanced compression and flexibility. By being both hydrophobic and lightweight, an Arena tech suit manages to cut down on drag while being comfortable at the same time.
No matter which swimwear brand you choose, make sure you find a tech suit that is FINA-approved. Because FINA has strict standards regarding the style, material, thickness and surface treatment of tech suits, you can have a high level of confidence in the quality of tech suits that are FINA-approved.
How to Put on a Tech Suit
Because they are designed to be extra tight, putting on a tech suit can be tricky. Here are seven tips to make putting on your tech suit a smooth process:
- Start dry: Make sure you are completely dry before attempting to put on your tech suit and never wear any other swimsuit under your tech suit. Shaving your legs before putting on the suit will make it easier to slide it over your legs.
- Flip up the leg grippers: Tech suits have a rubber grip at the bottom of each of the legs to help keep the suit in place. Flip these grippers up to make sliding into the suit easier.
- Be patient: Sit down to gradually put the suit on one foot at a time. You will need to gently pull the suit up your legs very slowly without pinching it with your fingernails in order to preserve the fabric.
- Line up the seams: After pulling the suit up evenly over both of your legs, check that all the seams of the suit match up with your body. Fix any seams that may be twisted uncomfortably around your leg.
- Carefully stretch over the hips: Getting the tech suit over your hips is the most difficult step, especially for females. Be sure the suit is entirely over your knee caps before attempting to pull it above your hips.
- Lightly stretch the suit over your shoulders: Once the suit is as high above your hips and buttocks as you can get it, begin to gently pull the shoulder straps up until they are properly set in place.
- Flip the grips: Wait to flip the grips at the end of the legs until you are certain the suit is in the right place because you won't be able to readjust it after you flip them. When you're ready, flip the grips, and you'll be ready to race!
Tips for Maintaining Your Tech Suit
Once you've chosen the perfect tech suit for you, you'll want to take good care of it so it lasts for as many races as possible. From how to wash a tech suit to how to dry it, follow these six tips to keep your tech suit in pristine condition:
- Don't overwear your tech suit: Because racing suits can start to stretch and degrade rather quickly, you will need to limit the wear and tear you put on your tech suit by not wearing it to practice. Instead of wearing it throughout the season, save your tech suit for big meets, such as the league championship meets scheduled for the end of the season.
- Protect your suit between races: When wearing your tech suit at a meet, guard it against snags and tears by putting on pants or shorts over it when you're not racing. Additionally, avoid placing any sharp objects near your suit.
- Remove the suit slowly: When it is time to take your tech suit off, remove it just as slowly and carefully as you put it on. Even if you're upset over a disappointing race, don't take your frustration out on your suit and risk stretching it out.
- Rinse the suit in cold water: Rinse your tech suit out by taking a cold shower or rinsing with cold water in the sink. If you choose to shower, avoid getting any sort of soap or shampoo on the suit.
- Don't dry your suit: Don't ever put your tech suit in the dryer. Otherwise, it can sustain permanent damage. You should also avoid using a blow dryer on it or wringing out the suit. Instead, roll the tech suit up in a towel to transport it to your home where you can allow it to air dry.
- Don't hang up the suit: Although you should always let your tech suit air dry, you should never hang it up to do so. The weight of the suit's fabric on the hanger can cause it to stretch out. Simply lay the suit out on a towel once you get home.
New USA Swimming Tech Suit Restrictions
The final factor to keep in mind when considering a technical suit is age. As of September 1, 2020, 12-and-under swimmers have new restrictions on what types of tech suits they are permitted to wear for competition. Under these new rules, no 12-and-under athlete may wear a technical suit at an approved, sanctioned or observed swim meet.
According to USA Swimming, a technical suit features these components:
- Bonded or taped seams: No matter its material or shape, any swimsuit that has taped or bonded seams is not allowed. Tech suits use taped and bonded seam methods to better fuse seams together and increase compression.
- Woven fabric past the hip: Any swimsuit that has woven material that extends beyond the hip area falls under the tech suit ban. Regardless of what seams it has, a suit that has woven material beneath the hips is illegal.
To comply with USA Swimming regulations, look for a suit with these qualities:
- Limited woven fabric: Suits with woven materials and sewn seams that do not pass lower than the hips are permitted.
- Limited knit fabric: Likewise, suits with knit materials and sewn seams that stay above the knees are permitted.
- Stitched seams: Seams that have been stitched together with thread are compliant with USA Swimming regulations.
- No FINA logo: Suits without the FINA logo are approved for 12-and-under competitions. However, certain suits that have the FINA logo and a check mark next to it are permitted because the check mark indicates that the suit does not meet the definition of a technical suit.
Find the Right Tech Suit for You at Kiefer
If you're looking for a speedy tech suit, check out the wide variety of dependable tech suit brands offered by Kiefer. From Arena to Speedo, Kiefer has top-quality brands to help you perform your best on race day. By selecting from our large inventory of men's and women's technical suits, you can find the best fit for your size, stroke style and budget.
To find a professional-grade racing suit that will make you feel faster than ever, shop tech suits from Kiefer today.
What To Pack In Your Swim Meet Bag
Whether you are packing for yourself or supervising your children, making a checklist and having extras is a great start to preparing yourself for a day of fun and fast swimming. Read our tips below for what to pack for your swim meet.
Indoor or Outdoor Swim Meeet?
First, is your meet indoors or outdoors? Also what time of year is it? If you are swimming outside packing sunscreen, a hat, sunglass, and a long sleeved thin shirt for protection are all a good idea. You will probably want to leave your clear goggles at home and opt for a dark colored or mirrored pair to help block the sun. Bringing sandals or flip flops is also a good idea.
If it is winter or fall, bring layers, and don’t forget your parka either! An insulated thermos of warm tea might be a nice comfort as well. Keep your feet and head warm too, by wearing the right kind of footwear and hat. If it is cold, fuzzy boots are great but at least sneakers and socks, a knit hat too. Losing heat from your head and feet will harm you.
Bring extra of everything to Your Swim Meet
Two pairs of goggles, two caps, even two suits. Certainly a few towels as well. Having extra is far better than needing something and not having it. However that doesn’t mean pack your bedroom.
Snacks and fluids, the more portable the better, toting around a small cooler may not sound so great, but cold water does! Regardless of your event’s timeline, bring ample fluids. It isn’t uncommon to see swimmers hauling around a gallon of water. I challenge you to not only bring one, but to drink the whole thing!
Extras to Pass The Time at Swim Meets
Music to help pass the time or a deck of cards, a book perhaps, but avoid gaming devices! They can be time sucks and a big enough distraction to miss a race. This may not apply to our master’s swimmers, but definitely our kids. As a coach I have seen it happen countless times. Be social, hang out, and chat with your friends and teammates to pass the time.
And finally, remember to bring dry clothes for when your day is done, so that you can get out of that wet suit.
Hope you have a great meet!
Learn More About Competitive Swimming:
- Training for A Triathlon? Here’s the Gear and A Workout Plan to Help You Prepare!
- How to Train for Your First Triathlon
- Why Every Swimmer Needs A Finis Tempo Trainer
- My First Triathlon
- 5 Ways Swimmers Self-Sabotage
- Summer Swim Training: 5 Tips To Keep It Fresh!
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Swimmers
- Raising a Swimmer – Part II: 11-12 Years
10 Habits of Elite Athletes
Being or becoming elite at anything is very much about hard work. Sometimes it is pre-destined by good genes and being self-possessed, but just because you have ability doesn’t mean you will automatically be successful. There are learned traits and actions that will help boost your abilities whether you have ‘the gift’ or not.
Here are 10 habits of elite athletes. Would you add anything to this list? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
1. There is no part-time
You are 100% in or you are out. If you want to be the best you have to be that committed all the time. In all areas. You are aware of the work you have to put in, and the maintenance it will take to keep you there.
Those who believe in themselves will generally outperform those that lack confidence. Combining talent, hard work, and self-confidence can be deadly in competition.
3. Embrace the grind
Love what you do. Relish in the fatigue a great workout brings. Admire your passion, encourage excellence, and move past just ‘good.’
Goal setting is a great motivator and it fuels the drive. If you don’t have anything to work towards why are you working? Eventually that question will come back to bite you, so set goals for all occasions. A goal to achieve in practice, one for the week, the month, the season, the year and even years from now.
You can’t be shaken. You’ve started something with your goals in mind and you will get there. Your commitment is part of your character and your resolve can’t be broken. Having a strong sense of personal integrity means that you honor not only your commitment to others, but to yourself first and foremost.
6. Work well with others
Be able to exist, work, and learn with your peers and your coaches. Being able to accept criticism and help is a huge part of growing and developing, not only as an athlete, but as a human being too.
7. Be a do’er
When you encounter problems, you solve them. When elite athletes find themselves backed into a corner, they find a way out. They are action-oriented, and excuses are not part of their dialog.
8. Power of positive
Elite athletes have an unshakeable ability to see the good in everything. Blame isn’t placed on the shoulders of others, nor is it placed on the surrounding environment. Being able to overcome and stay focused in non-optimal conditions is what being the best is all about.
Stepping into a role of leadership may not seem like a necessity, but your team needs one. Your business needs one, your family needs one. Learning to be a good leader early on is invaluable. Those skills are not only an asset in the pool, but in life as well. It is valuable beyond monetary compensation.
Your passion is your fuel. Find it, feed it, and watch it grow into something amazing. If it isn’t in the pool, look for it. When you find it your heart will blossom and you will flourish.
How to Breathe When Swimming Freestyle: Freestyle Breathing Tips and Mistakes To Avoid
Learning to breathe better while swimming freestyle is a small thing that can dramatically improve your speed and stamina in the water. Here are a few tips to help you breathe better while swimming freestyle (and a few mistake to avoid).
How To Breathe When Swimming Freestyle
1. Timing is everything
Really, it is. Broken down to basics if you are breathing on your left you should breathe as your right hand is stretching out to catch another stroke. Or if you are breathing on your right you should breathe as your left hand is stretching out to catch another stroke. This way your breath occurs during rotation with minimal interruption to your stroke.
2. Circles are good
Squares are bad. Freestyle is a circular stroke. There are no corners to get caught up on. Breathing needs to fit into this circle or your stroke ends up hitching. These pauses affect your tempo and slow you down. If you feel like your breathing is irregular or creates drag address it before it becomes learned.
3. Drill it out
Drills can be tedious but they really are great tools to help you perfect your technique. My favorite to deal with poor breath timing is swimming one armed. Pirate freestyle! I tell my kids they only have one arm and we work through 25s using either the right arm or the left arm. Whatever arm is not in use is ‘dead’ at their side and they must always breathe to that side. NEVER have the dead arm out front, how could you possibly work on breathing with that arm in the way? This way they can really focus on one arm entering and rotating their body into a breath. And because I really like to drill it in they must breathe every single stroke. So if we are doing right arm only freestyle they must breathe to the left every single time the right arm reaches out for a new pull.
Learning to breathe properly while swimming is an essential skill in becoming a faster swimmer. Fortunately, this skill can be learned with practice and repetition. Next time you're at the pool, try these three freestyle breathing tips, and continue to practice them each time you are at the pool. In time, you will see improved results.
Swimming Tips For Beginners: Basic Gear, Pool Etiquette, and Overcoming Inertia
I learned how to swim when I was five years old, but for most of my life, swimming was just a recreational activity that happened when I went to the beach or community pool with my friends during Summer. It would be 19 years later when I decided to get a little more serious and start swimming to strengthen my health & fitness.
When I began swimming again as an adult, I had all sorts of questions:
What kind of swimsuit do I buy?
Are there certain rules I need to follow?
Will other people laugh at me?
Thankfully, my teammates at Kiefer gave me some valuable tips and advice on getting started and choosing the right gear. If you're like me and just beginning swimming again, here is the gear and advice that helped me jump in the pool and get started.
Basic swim gear
What kind of gear do you need when you're just getting started? Not too much. Here's all you need to start:
- Swimsuit (Men | Women)
- Goggles (These are my favorite!)
- Sandals or Pool Shoes (for pool deck and locker room; like these swim shoes)
- Backpack (to store your clothes, towel, and accessories. I went with this one.)
- Swim Cap (If you have long hair. Click here to view our Swim Caps)
That's it! If you are just getting started, keep it basic for now, and then move on to other swim training gear, like pull buoys, kickboards, hand paddles, etc. for more intense swim workouts.
Your pool will most likely have some rules posted near the locker room. It's a good idea to read these rules so you know how to conduct yourself at the pool.
Some basic pool etiquette includes:
- Rinse off in the shower before jumping in the pool
- Swim on the right side of the lane (if it is busy in the pool)
- Be kind to your fellow swimmers
The biggest thing that surprised me when I started swimming as an adult, was the inertia I felt to actually getting in the pool.
Inertia is "a tendency to do nothing or to remain unchanged." (source: Google). My inertia was due to two things: (1) thinking I 'didn't have time' to swim because of my schedule, and (2) fear that I would make a fool of myself in the pool (and people would laugh at me).
Neither of these things were true.
What helped me overcome these two obstacles was this:
- Desire > Inertia: My desire to swim and keep my mind and body healthy eventually became greater than the inertia I felt resisting me from going to and getting in the pool. Yes, my schedule was busy, but my health is important, and I was determined to make the time to swim. (This desire will also help push you past any fear you feel to getting in the pool.)
- Baby steps: Just start swimming one day a week, and then move on to two days, three days, and more. When you start, you will gain momentum to keep going. Take baby steps and remember that one is greater than zero.
- Going at night: Where I live, most people swim in the morning and right after work. I've discovered that if I swim between 8pm to 9pm, I have the pool practically to myself! For me, I enjoy this more because I am an introvert.
- Going with someone: In addition to going to the pool at night (when no one is there), going swimming with my wife was a great way to eliminate the fear of other people's expectations. If you have a spouse, close friend, or family member who wants to get into swimming with you, this is a great way to blow up your inertia and start swimming.
Swimming is great for your mind and body. Once you get in the pool for the first time and start swimming, you'll wish you had started sooner. So start today!
What tips and advice would you share with those who are getting into swimming again? What recommendations on swimwear and swim gear do you have? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Learn More Swimming Tips:
- Bilateral Breathing For Swimmers
- Swimming Technique: 3 Ways To Improve Speed (Butterfly Edition)
- Lap Swimming Etiquette
- Swimming Technique Part Three: 3 Ways To Improve Speed (Breaststroke Edition)
- Swimming Technique Part Two: 3 Ways To Improve Speed (Backstroke Edition)
- 10 Quick Tips for Swim Sighting
- 15 Meter Resurfacing Markers – The Underwater Swimming Rule
- The Benefits of Swimming: 5 Ways Swimming Improves Your Life